NSS 333 review

If a system based around the 333 does not offer you a sufficient increase in SQ over that delivered by a system based around the 222 in terms of the former’s increased costs, then the solution is obvious - do not buy it.

On the other hand, if the 333 system does offer increased SQ over its 222-based counterpart, then it’s up to the listener, and their budget, to decide if they consider it worthwhile.

What’s not to like in either scenario? :innocent:.

ATB, J

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seems it will take a bit of time to figure out optimal upgrades in the context of NC/OC. New NC Supernait needed.

It’s an inapt oversimplification. These threads tend to devolve into a lot of nonsense and speculation. Listen for yourself and rely less on the subjective comments of others.

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This maybe of intrest to some of you. I ran an NDX2 for 5 years which had always been run with a external power supply 555PS DR in my case. I always found it an great sourse but last year decided to have a look at other options including naim. I demoed lots of options at home, DCS Bartock Apex, Chord Dave, NS333 and ND555. All great in there own right and but different in there presentation. The NS333 was run with and without the 555Ps and i would say its a slight step up on the NDX2 with or without the power supply in my system, but it not a night and day difference as you would expect given there respective price points. NS333 had better detail and bass line were easier to follow, but as with most things i found the NDX2 to be better in some respects and to me seemed to allow the music to flow a bit better and i relaxed more with the music this of course could be more down to beeing more familar with the NDX2. I endded up with the ND555 because i felt that the uplift in sound quatily was not enought for me to justify the change but the ND555 brought more, but again not night and day changes just more musical sounding than hifi sounding if that makes sense. My point is if you own an NDX2 with or without a powersupply its a great combo and the same can be said about the NS333 which is slightly better in my option, but if your looking for a real uplift then i think you have to spend considerably more money and not necessarily on an ND555 there are of course other options only you can decided if thats worth it or not and its of course sytem dependend. I think at this price point there are no real Duds in terms of sound quality.

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It’s absolutely true. Half of the 333 is identical to the 222, just as half of the ND5XS2 is identical to half of the NDX2. To clarify, I’m not stating the 333 isn’t better, but the value for money is with the 222.

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It’s no different than looking at the inside of an NPX300 vs. a 222 and wondering how they can charge what they do for the NPX300. The 222 clearly has a lot of research and design, new technology, many more components, and performs more duties while the NPX300 is still just an updated XPS DR with a few more DR modules offered at the same price as a 222.

It’s the nature of this hobby. Companies generally charge more for R&D then they do for actual build cost.

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I’d agree on the vfm. It’s why I bought one!

However, I believe the implementations do differ materially, which accounts for the greater detail and musicality to my ears. That said, my comparison point was 222/300/250 against 333/332/250. So I’m sure the 332 adds something to what I heard.

I don’t know, that’s the question…

Right now I am listening to the 222/250 and for some reason it’s decided to sound simply the best ever - in a way it has almost no right to.

Then again, we are talking about the Nait 50. With well matched speakers. At which point I am not sure how much the potentially slightly lesser N50 preamp (?) and the better 333 DAC (and here I mean the whole of it not just the chip) might not just sound slightly more superb?

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Very interesting, thanks for sharing your experience.

I currently have a 222/NC250 - it replaces a Devialet 250 that replaced a 252/300 a decade ago.
The 222/250 sounds stunning and a big uplift over the Devialet. Better timing, deeper soundstage and amazing ‘reality’.
I plan on getting a used Npx300 next month but don’t expect a massive upgrade, it’s just a good place to stop and not worry.
300 system? No… too expensive and too many boxes. (Been there)

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The NPX 300 will be a big uplift, trust me. I was sorely tempted when I got my 222/250. It was a good step up, but sanity (or more accurately, SWMBO) prevailed!

There seem to be very few used NPX 300s around, so good luck with that. As one can be used in a 300 systems I can understand why.

I know of three……

I’m all ears …

PFM.
And Rick at Musicraft in Derby has one ex dem at a very good price.

Hello,
first big thanks for to JonathanG for the review he wrote.

I now upgraded from NDX to NSS 333 - and can only confirm what Jonathan wrote:
That was an extrem step of improvement - like going from an NAC 32-5 or NAC 102 to a NAC 52/NAC 252 - so much more detail and grip - when playing in CD quality or UpnP stream of my 24/192 wav files.
I had it running now for 1 week without NDX300 - and was nearly not able to do my normal activities as I wanted to listen this or that…

Until now (I added the NPX 300 yesterday) the NPX did not make a BIG difference - but he made one, especially in bass support. The low A of the organ in Hindemith Chamber Music N.7, 2nd movement, last bar, was clear and audible without NDX300 - but with the NDX300 it became more easy and precise (listening with my Audio Physic Minos Subwoofer -).

Some more details on my subjective findings.
Main reason for the upgrade was for me the broken display from my NDX - and that it was not able to play my DSD128 recordings - so I had to convert them to 24/192. DSD128 works fine - and gives you all the details you expext.
One side node - of course that was discussed in many forums: The more information you have per time, the more detailed stage, harmonics (especially for voices) and composition of a sound.
It makes a difference playing a low string on an e-bass - recorded on CD that will be one sound - on a 24/192 you feel/hear the string vibrating.
My standard tune for “calibrating and reviewing” my equipment is Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon: A Great Gig in the Sky: - in the beginning the end of the phrase the man is saying, at about 2’20" when she is making a gutural sound when singing, and of course the overall stage/…
CD-Quality streamed from TIDAL (Remastered 2023), which sounds better than my CD rip from the 30th aniversary SACD 2003: Compared to NDX much more stage, the bass is better separated, everything sounds cleaner, still it is not possible at all to hear the end of the phrase the man is saying.
If you know that the gutural sound is there, you may think that there is something with NSS 333 - on NDX it just sounded as the notes sung before.
With DSD128 (recorded with Tascam DA-3000: Signal Chain: Dark Side of the Moon, white record, Audio Technica PTG 33 / SME V / Garrard 401, Prefix, Supercap (Olive, Recapped), NAC252, TASCAM DA-3000) what the man is saying in the beginning is nearly understandable (on record it stays still clearer), the stage is much better, basses sound more separated and precise vibrating (you feel how the string vibrates), the female voice has much more harmonics - space above and more dynamics and detail. You can hear the gutural vibrations of her voice at 2’20".
Subjective Percentages: CD: 40%, NDX 24/192: 70%, NSS 333: 85% (expecting the NPX to give another 5 %), Record on my Garrard- now with Superline: 100%. (Live experience I would rate: 150%-200% in that scale).

Other findings:
Digital Concert Hall of Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (24bit/48kHz): NDX vs NSS333: Much more space - and even more dynamics. Now I can distinguish easily the violas from violins by listening - that was not so easy with the NDX (I play viola (and a little bit violin)myself).
Definitely I enjoy much more the Digital Concert Hall now with the NSS333. Thanks to Naim!

Tidal Connect: Of couse I am upset, that Max is not yet available - but it is supposed to come, but already some streams were sooo much more detailed, dynamic, fun to listen to - like Supertramp: School, Peter Fox: Stadtaffe, B-52’s Love Shack (Still my DSD128 converted to 24/192 recording from the Maxi-Single record sounds much better than Tidal).
Sad to say, but the NDX feels the age - after listening to the NSS for one week the NDX is dull.

To sum up: NSS333 is a very big step in upgrading - it is worth the money it costs.

Enjoy listening yourself to your music - or better perform yourself.
Peter

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Nice detailed report. Quick Q have you tried Audirvana rather than just the streaming apps?
I found it a significant step up in quality and might help wring that last bit out of you 333…

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I also think the difference between NDX2 and NSS 333 is big. NSS 333 is so much more relaxed and easier to listen to. It presents much more of the music. Much more emotion. Many more nuances that helps you hear the expression that musicians make. You get more captivated by the music if you are in that mood, and it easily lets you hear very much even if you just want to have music as a background to something else you are doing. I am happy that Naim entered this path.

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Very eloquently put @mr_christer ! Your description mirrors my own experience.

I hope that more people are able to give it a try but the NSS is obviously expensive.

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@Bjm hi … have you got back your 332 ?

Hi @naimophile , not yet. Naim have advised that it should be leaving them today and getting to the dealers by the end of the week. It has been 4 weeks without it and and I am really missing it!

My best method of playing music at the moment is listening via Roon on my iPhone into my original Chord Mojo and OPPO PM2 headphones. I am still enjoying music very much but I do miss the sheer scale possible via my speakers.

The Mojo and OPPOs are very good though.

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